Join Date: May 2008
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My lost M16
First of all, to answer the original post...it is illegal to import even one Cuban cigar (or anything else from Cuba from what I understand) into the United States. Secondly, the smartest thing you can do is not to try to hide anything. Some things that are legal in one country may not be in another (Afrin for example).
I was an "Independent Duty Medical Technician" in the USAF (Navy IDC, Army 18D equivalent). Sometime after 9-11, I received temporary orders to Germany to help process troops on their way to Bosnian peace-keeping missions. The person processing the orders looked on an outdated list and put in the orders that I needed to carry a weapon. When I complained about this, someone else looked at an even older list that stated I not only needed to carry a weapon, but also ammunition. So I was issued an M16 (full auto capability) and a full compliment of ammunition. I felt sure I was going to have no end of problems boarding my civilian flight from California to Atlanta. I walked into the airport expecting to be face down on the floor within seconds. To my surprise, I encountered no problems and the M16 and ammo boarded with the regular luggage. But, when I tried to transfer to the US Military Contracted flight in Atlanta, I was told I could not board with the ammunition, only the M16. So, I took the ammunition to the Airport Police, who had no sense of humor. They were shocked I had been walking around the secured portion of their airport with a fully automatic weapon and enough ammo to start my own war. Anyway, they did allow me to turn in the ammo. Free of the ammo, I was now allowed to board the flight. When I arrived in Germany, I discovered my luggage was lost...including the M16. I filled all the proper reports and called each base/post the flight stopped at for the next few months of my temporary assignment, but never located the M16. When I got back to California and was asked to turn in the weapon, all I had was the receipt from the ticket agent in Atlanta. Although I secretly saw much humor (mostly because I had pointed out I really shouldn't have had to take the M16 in the first place), the armory personnel saw none.
The plot thickens. About six months later, I got temporary orders to Iraq. The orders stated I needed to take a weapon (but no ammo). So, I went to the armory to check one out. The armory people now saw much humor in the fact I already had an M16 checked out so they could NOT issue me another one; me, not so much humor in this. So, out of the group of doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel; I was the only one not allowed to be armed. But, I was the one lone IDMT...the person MOST likely to be sent off-base, deployed forward, and need to be armed. And yes, I did go off-base several times and had no end of trouble getting an M16 and 9mm each time.
A couple months after I got back, the M16 did turn up. Apparently, it had stayed on the airplane in Germany and the US Army had been using it in Iraq for over a year. Armory personnel were almost rolling on the floor with laughter when they told me I'd have to come down and clean a years worth of sand and rust from the M16...I was not entertained.
Skipper, J/36 "Zero Tolerance"
Last edited by J36ZT; 11-15-2008 at 12:11 PM.